The New York Red Bulls, Tottenham Hotspur and Under Armour hosted a clinic Sunday morning at New York City’s Chelsea Piers in anticipation of Tuesday’s match at Red Bull Arena.
The clinic kicked off at 10:00 AM and included participation from Red Bulls players Jose Angulo and Brandon Barklage, as well as the Tottenham Hotspur’s coaching staff, led by Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas.
Drills ranged in technique and skill, varying across sprints, dribbling, ball-handling and even some shots on goal against Tottenham coaches. The main focus though was on the backbone of the sport.
“Core skills are very important. I think that’s why the coaches at the moment in this first hour focused more on that rather than on the playing game,” said Villas-Boas. “Eventually if you evolve on your skills you’re able to play a better game in the future.”
Both Angulo and Barklage offered a helping hand over the course of the 90-minute clinic, something that brought back fond memories for each of the players.
“We called it ‘Fast Footwork’ growing up, so we’d be on the gym floors and doing all kinds of stepovers and footwork drills,” Barklage said. “It really develops you as a player, and there are a lot of good young players out here, so I look forward to seeing them in the future.”
Angulo also experienced a similar opportunity while growing up, but admitted there was a hint of jealousy with what went on at Pier 62 Sunday morning.
“I wish I had this type of training when I was younger,” he said. “It definitely was a good experience.”
Although the event was scheduled to last roughly 90 minutes, the true love for soccer and appreciation for the clinic exceeded that time. Coach Villas-Boas and his staff were seen signing autographs and posing for photos with the younger generation of athletes.
All in all the event was a success, driven by passion for the sport and a hunger to learn. The experience didn’t change much for those on the technical side either.
“It was a chance to come out here and put some smiles on the kids’ faces and a chance to meet the Spurs’ technical staff,” said Barklage. “It was a great experience.”
The Barclays New York Cup Powered by Under Armour pits the New York Red Bulls against the English Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur Tuesday, July 31st, at Red Bull Arena. The 7 PM kickoff will feature the likes of international superstars such as New York's Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez, along with Tottenham’s Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart.
For tickets, visit Red Bulls Ticket Central or call 877.RB.SOCCER.